What is Typhoid?
Typhoid is a disease caused by bacteria that usually transmits from person to person through contaminated food and drink. These bacteria can enter your bloodstream and then spread in your body. It’s highly contagious and can be very serious — but if caught early, typhoid can be easily treated with antibiotics.
- Chest rash
- Fever and chills
- Constipation or diarrhoea (sometimes bloody stools)
- Delirium and hallucinations
- Severe fatigue
Avoid raw fruit and vegetables!
Or at least the ones you’ve not peeled yourself. Infected food is the enemy here, so be very careful. And avoid lettuce in particular — because it’s easily contaminated and hard to clean properly. Be particularly vigilant when eating and drinking outside your home as food may not be prepared hygienically and water may not be clean.
Boil your water!
If you think your water supply might be contaminated, make sure you boil the water for at least one minute before drinking it or cooking with it.
Wash your hands!
As well as through the ingestion of contaminated food and drink, typhoid is also spread by 'healthy carriers': people who carry the disease without showing the symptoms, and people recovering from it. To help prevent the spread, make sure you and your loved ones practise good hand hygiene through regular handwashing with soap before eating and cooking, and after using the toilet.
If I’m feeling better, I must be typhoid-free.
Even if the symptoms have gone, you can still carry the disease and pass it on. It’s vital to finish any course of antibiotics you may have been prescribed – this will ensure you don’t pass the disease onto others.
I’ve had the typhoid vaccination — so I’m immune to the disease.
Having your whole family vaccinated is of course the best defence — but the jab isn’t 100% effective so there is no substitute for being careful of what you eat and drink. Make sure your family gets a 'booster' injection every two years.
Medical source: British health authority